Jan. 8, 2014
By: Andrew Rich
By: Andrew Rich
FRESNO, Calif. -- After a dominant defensive performance in the first half, the Fresno State men's basketball team held on late to secure their first Mountain West Conference win of the year, knocking off Air Force 71-65 on Wednesday night at the Save Mart Center.
The Bulldogs held the Falcons to just 16 points in the first half while building an 11-point halftime lead.
Air Force, which came into the contest shooting 47% on the year, was just 5-for-25 from the field in the opening half. Their only bucket in the final 7:20 came on a Kamryn Williams three-pointer with 44 seconds left in the half.
"Without question, probably our best defensive game of the year for 40 minutes against a really, really good offensive team in terms of execution and probably the best passing team we've played to this point right now," Fresno State head coach Rodney Terry said.
Tyler Johnson tied a season-high with 25 points to lead Fresno State. He also pulled down a team-high eight rebounds. Cezar Guerrero and Marvelle Harris also scored in double figures, posting 18 and 13, respectively.
"It's just a matter of getting back into the flow from an offensive standpoint, and he's been able to do that the last two ballgames," Terry said of Johnson. "The effort's been there since he's gotten back."
After being outscored from the free throw line by 14 points in each of their first two conference games, the Bulldogs finally found a way to reverse that statistic largely thanks to Johnson. The senior was a perfect 10-for-10 at the stripe as part of a 24-for-32 effort by the Bulldogs. Air Force finished 17-for-22.
Fresno State now hits the road for a two-game road trip that will open in Fort Collins, Colo., on Saturday for a matchup with Colorado State at 6:00 p.m., PT. The Rams are coming off a 66-64 win over San José State.
"Catch the Wave!" - 2013-14 Fresno State men's basketball tickets are now on sale and can be ordered online at www.gobulldogs.com or over the phone at 559-278-DOGS (3647). The official home of the Fresno State Bulldogs is 940 AM ESPN Radio.
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